That’s what I thought after the first time I ever did a full Radical Undoing session.
I must be having a heart attack. I never knew it could feel like this. I never knew it was possible to feel this much life coursing through my body!
That’s what kept running through my head in that cold room in Buffalo, Wyoming 90 minutes after deciding to do a simple “meditation experiment” I’d been meaning to try.
Holy goddamn fuckin shit, was that an experiment! More like an adventure! I forced my small, hardback Moleskine journal open with one fist, and wrote with a pen jammed into the clasped fingers of my other hand.
Buzzing and tingling radiated throughout every inch of my skin and body. I literally thought I could be dying, I was so unfamiliar with that much intense aliveness.
I was at my partner’s parents’ house for Christmas vacation, and the dinner bell rang in the middle of the most intense experience of my life.
I stumbled up the steps, determined to explain all the secrets of the universe to her happily gathered family.
“I just did this crazy meditation experiment from this book and you’ve gotta try it, it’s like some kind of….” (I had no idea what to call it, so “meditation” had to suffice.)
Right then I learned a very important lesson: don’t put on a punk rock show for a crowd waiting to hear Kenny G. No matter how well you play it, the audience ain’t right.
So I turned off the amps and unplugged for some turkey, potatoes, gravy, and a bottle of beer–which was the best bottle of beer I’ve ever tasted. Come to think of it, that was the first dinner I’d ever had in my new body.
What the hell does that mean, you ask?
Up until that experiment, I never realized I had a body before. I knew that my knees and elbows got scraped, I’d scratched a thousand itches, warmed my hands and feet on raging campfires, and experienced myriad joys of the flesh…and yet, I never fully realized the body in which I experienced all these things.
It might sound ridiculous to think of not having a body one day, and then waking up to the fact that you have one the next day, but that’s exactly what it felt like. Up until that first Undoing session, my body existedmainly as a composite of ideas in my mind.
Before that session, most of my life was like that: ideas in my head. Suddenly, the textures of everything opened up before my newly awakened senses. The weather, my house, the falling snowflakes, a light breeze across the backs of my hands, tingling in my fingers, and a deep warmth were all the first, last, and best possible experiences anyone had ever had, and I knew it, and felt it for myself.
Nothing could get between me and my body ever again. With that new awareness and union, everything else made exquisite sense.
Turns out all that stuff I used to think of as me was just a conglomeration of ideas, like rounded stones and sediment collected in a dry riverbed.
I used to think I was one of those stones.
But, after that first session–and the waves and ripples that rushed through every part of my life–I felt more like the solar system in which suns, planets, rivers and rocks take place.
Maybe that’s a little obscure, so let me bring it back home again. No ideas can ever fully encompass you. In that light, none of your ideas about yourself are accurate. They’re just a collection of observations about the past…about things you remember doing…about things you regret doing and not doing…and a whole lot of ungrounded opinions.
You don’t need your ideas of yourself. What you really want is to feel good, to wake up in the morning excited, curious, and grateful about the day opening before you. And you want to fall asleep feeling good at night, letting go of the day you just had.
The one trick I know to feeling good most (if not all) of the time is to get out of the vicious jungle of your mind and dive deep into your body–especially your breathing.
That’s what radical undoing–and all the Command Z courses, NGF workshops, and adventures are here to help you do: bring you back to yourself, minus the guilt, shame, and belief that there’s something wrong with you as you are.
Because there’s nothing wrong.
When you’re ready to experience this for yourself, get in touch and we’ll figure out which Command Z adventure is right for your situation.
PS: still time to reclaim your mind for more than half off. For those of you who know intuitively that facing mortality can exponentially enhance the quality and appreciation of your time here, get this one too.
I’ll keep this short, so you have time right now to try out this exercise.
It’s very simple, and you can use it to shake yourself out of bad moods, to relax deeply, to feel more alive, and see things from a new perspective.
If you’ve tried any of the exercises I’ve sent out over the past few days, you already know they get better and better the more you do them.
Sometimes when I catch myself drifting into some imagined suffering, an exercise flashes through my mind. If I’m not trying to rebel against my own enjoyment and fun, I take the cue and do the damned exercise, no matter how difficult it is to get myself to do it.
Because of that, aliveness fills my belly, a grin dances onto my face, my arms look for something fun to work on, and a tingling awareness buzzes in my lower back.
Those are just pleasant side effects of breathing deeply and paying attention to your bodily experience. When you ground your awareness in your body, everything else gets easier, and you can finally feel in charge of your states.
Not that you’ll always feel at your best, but you’ll always be willing to do your best, and to squeeze out some fun, laughter, and enjoyment, regardless of the circumstances.
If that sounds like a radical life change, it is. If it seems impossible, I’m here to show that it’s quite possible, if you spend a little time every day dedicated to feeling more alive.
Here’s a video of today’s exercise:
The cool thing about all the CZ exercises is that they get easier and easier to take action toward what you really want, and to make sure you get the most enjoyment and satisfaction possible in all the experiences of your life.
In addition to that physical exercise, you can also learn to put up boundaries to help nudge you more toward your own deepest satisfaction and joy–in every area of your life.
I call the process of putting up those boundaries Psychic Self Defense. What that means is to:
1. Know what you really want. If you have no idea, then your next step is exploring your options and finding out.
2. Aim yourself at what you want, and take action toward it. If you make a mistake or fail, aim again and continue further.
When you don’t know what you want, you can get caught up in the treadmill of a life not of your own making–and that’s not satisfying to anyone, except maybe the people and businesses you donate thousands of days of your life to, and the other businesses you pay to keep you distracted, to help ease the woes of living a life that doesn’t fill you with satisfaction and joy.
When you decide to take the reins of your own life, to play only the games you want to play, and do what deeply satisfies you on a consistent, day to day basis, you’ll be surprised at the resistance that arises to keep you in your place.
Friends, family, coworkers, and popular media create a chorus of doubt, despair, and discouragement that overwhelms and conquers most people’s best intentions before they even get started.
When you start changing your life, be prepared to take responsibility for your own joy and satisfaction, and don’t let the naysaying of other people get in your way.
It’s in that spirit I made the NGF Guide to Psychic Self Defense.
Don’t let another week goes by without standing up for your time, reclaiming your mind, and making progress toward your own best interest…
Have fun earnestly,
PS: The cool thing is, when you master the exercise from today, plus the stuff you learn in the NGF workshop, getting the results you want gets easier, while you have fun and enjoy the process.
It’s your focus on what’s wrong. When you learn to let go–and I mean letting go in the most direct, physical way possible–you’ll watch most of your problems fade in the rear view mirror as you race into a radically different life.
Captain Jack Sparrow says it best: (click “display images” to see)
My handy computer dictionary tells me that problem means “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.” (emphasis added by me.)
If you weren’t feeling uncomfortable, you wouldn’t identify your experiences as problems. The problem is, once we get focused on problems, it’s hard to see things from a different perspective.
The urgency of believing you need to deal with and overcome something can overwhelm and dominate your mind to the exclusion of other perspectives and opportunities.
This is how our problems and obstacles can become habitual ways of thinking–mental prisons that keep us focused in the wrong direction.
Often, you’re just facing the inside wall of your cage, with your back turned to the open door behind you. It’s the need to solve all your imagined problems that’s keeping you from enjoying and flowing with your life.
The only answer is to get a different perspective, to stop defining discomfort as a problem, and to learn to let go of your expectations about how things are supposed to be.
This may seem like some gargantuan feat, but it’s not. It’s actually a very basic step in your natural development.
The sad fact is that the cult of society, or the society of CULTure, has taught each and every one of us how to cling to our imagined obstacles with a stranglehold of suffering.
Do you ever wonder why so many people don’t really enjoy what they do with the majority of their time? And yet, instead of doing something–anything–different, they just carry on day after day, until life recycles them back to the oblivion they came from and finds someone else to play their roles.
Have you ever heard someone complain about their life? Isn’t it funny how much time and effort people will spend complaining about their own problems, without doing a damned thing differently? Then, if those problems run out, they find new problems on the news to complain about.
This is what’s accepted as normal, and what’s normal is completely ridiculous, and no one’s saying anything about it, so the doom parade carries on.
That’s the strangest part about all the conditioning we receive as children: to believe that you are your problems. That way, you’ll never sidestep them and do what you really want with your life.
You’ve got only one option in the face of this terrorific situation: letting go.
First, let go of all the shit that ain’t yours: the problems of the world, the problems of politics, the issues you’re supposed to care about and take sides on.
Second, let go of all those problems you imagine holding you back from what you really want.
The only way I know of to learn how to let go is through using your body.
Try the exercise in the following video, but pay very close attention to the minute details of how to do it. It’s almost impossible to do correctly at first, but when we do sessions together, I can give you specific tips to help you learn how to let go, not only of your tensions, but of all the problems you’ve identified with in your life.
In the 4 week intensives, you’ll quickly discover that the adventures available to you RIGHT NOW will quickly overwhelm all the problems you carry around, and you’ll be forced to make a choice: let go of your problems, or abandon the adventure of your organic life in that amazing spaceship you call your body.
I suggest embracing the adventure of your life, which means letting go of the certainty of your problems in trade for the uncertainty of an open-ended exploration of your life, which means waking up, which is why you’re reading this!
So do the exercise, and let me know how it goes for you. I’m happy to hear from you.
Oh, one more thing, for the next round of intensives, would you like to start on May 3, or closer to the middle of the month? Let me know.
Life is way more fun when you stop pretending you know what happens next, and stop clinging to the problems that make you feel safe and comfortable. Look around…is there anything you’ve fallen asleep to in your life?
Adventure is yours, if you want it.
PS: If you didn’t see it yet, I put together a workshop on reclaiming your mind and body, and cutting off the influences that put your to sleep and convince you to keep living the life someone else wants you to live…instead of your own. That’s the NGF guide to psychic self defense. Over half off for the next couple days.
To answer the question about who’s running your life, you’re going to need a complex piece of advanced technology.
The good news is that you’ve probably got one somewhere nearby. The device in question is a tool often used for deep (and shallow) reflection.
I’m talking about a mirror.
Look deep into your own eyes in that mirror and you’ve got your answer. No matter what your circumstances, ideas, and beliefs tell you, you’re the one in charge.
In charge of what? Of your attitude about what’s going on, of your breath, of your observation, your awareness, and your ability to take action of some sort, or to do nothing at all. (nothing wrong with that!)
It’s really that simple. Now, if you find your mind vomiting up reasons why you’re not in charge of your life, notice that you still have a choice. That choice is to believe, to reject, or to simply ignore that stream of rancid thought that comes from gawd knows where and smears itself like a snail trail across the screen of your mind.
And by recognizing that you have that choice, you’ve proven to yourself in a very simple way that you, indeed, are running your own life.
This can be a hard pillow to swallow. (Who swallows pillows, anyways? Except those who dream of eating giant marshmallows…and those folks are just crazy.)
The point here is to start laughing at things. Silly things. Serious things. Doomsday predictions. Local, State, and National News, and all other attempts at reality TV. You can also laugh at the tragedies of history. Come on, give it a try.
Laughter is one of the simplest methods of psychic self defense. No, that’s not defending your mind against psychics–though that would be a good thing to keep in mind.
Instead, it’s about reclaiming your mind, stealing back the throne in the kingdom of your perception, and making your life your own again.
So laugh a little. Then laugh a lot. It’s good for you. And it’s the only way for you to beat the devil. Now you’re thinking I’m Christian, or at least that I’ve lost my mind.
I haven’t. I’m referring to the Devil tarot card, which just refers to the so-called evil of the world. You know…everything that scares you and drags you down into the pits of fear and the crippling paralysis that follows.
But when you laugh at things you’re not supposed to, you win back a little of your mental freedom, and YOU get to decide when you want to feel bad about things…not just because everyone else thinks you should.
And then, when you find yourself wanting to feel bad about things, laugh again!
Listen. You’re headed for a casket or an incinerator, probably faster than you’d expect, so laugh while you’ve got the guts to laugh with, and then do something that makes you happy…deeply, joyously, rapturously happy!
Once you’re in that casket, none of that somber, serious, historitragical shit’s going to matter, so it doesn’t really matter now either. What matters is your life!
After you stretch your face (breaking apart rigid emotional states and worn-out self images), shrug off everything that doesn’t matter (meaning almost everything except flowing more smoothly with your life), then it’s time to do a deep, hearty belly laugh.
If you can’t find it in you to do that, the following video from the Radical Undoing 101 course gives you an exercise that’ll help you to start enjoying more of your life, more of the time.
(secret: you have to actually do the exercise over and over, just like any other exercise you want to make you stronger.)
To learn even more about the power of the laughing breath, check out another video that gets even deeper into how and why it works:
I remember the first time I realized I could start laughing at all the things that used to drag me down. I was at a workshop with the late, great Dr. Christopher Hyatt, and he was making hilarious Hitler references. I found myself caught in a bind. (Much like the bind you might feel your mind twisting into now after reading the dreaded 6 letter combination: “Hitler”)
I wanted to laugh, but I wasn’t used to laughing at things like that. Something felt different that time, and I finally let loose and had a good belly laugh. You know what? I realized I could find humor anywhere I wanted, regardless of what I’d been taught.
Just because you laugh at something doesn’t make you a “bad person.” It doesn’t make you a supporter of genocide and dictatorship. It just means you laughed. No big deal.
If you find yourself full of tension now, I urge you to revisit those videos above and do the exercise right away.
Oh wait. I almost lied to you. There was another time I laughed at at a very inappropriate time. It was just after my mother’s funeral. I stood on the wintry street in central Minnesota, watching sadly as my friends all piled into two cars to head back to their homes in Minneapolis.
I felt a desperation sweeping through, and loneliness filled my body as I heard the cars cranking over and finally starting. At the last moment before heading out, my friend Tumbleweed leaned out the window with a huge, bearded grin and said: “Happy Birthday, Garrett!”
While my friends looked on in horror and told him to shut up, I couldn’t help but burst into deep, beautiful belly laughter. He broke me out of my trance of darkness, and I’ve never let it take over my perception fully since that moment.
So what’s all this got to do with transformation and undoing yourself?
Well, for one thing, the you that you think you are isn;t the whole picture. In fact, most of it’s composed of opinions and ideas that aren’t your own, and aren’t even true.
If that’s the case, then who the hell are you, anyway? You’ll have to go deep into your body and find out for yourself.
That’s what all these exercises are for. Well, that and having a lot of fun while you learn to start flowing more with what is.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about when I first learned what letting go really means, and how you can start letting go of even the most difficult obstacles in your life. (Another secret: it takes a lot less effort than you think.)
I’ll also invite you to the live Q and A where I’ll share all about the new Radical Undoing 4 Week Intensives (next round starts May 3!)
For now, go laugh your ass off and then get some rest.
PS: Radical Undoing 101 2.0 is in the works. What that means for you is a radically updated version of the course, with extras and bonuses galore. It also means a higher price tag as we improve everything about the course experience. So if you’ve been thinking about getting it, now’s the time, because you get lifetime access to all future upgrades, and this one’s gonna be huge.
Today I promised to get into my own undoing story a little more deeply than yesterday. I’ll be telling a lot more of the story as we go, and giving you some exercises and motivation along the way.
I recently asked folks on FB what they feel is the most important factor in self transformation. What do you think they said?
The most common answer was motivation.
So, my goal with these emails, and with all the courses, workshops and live experiences is not only to give you the most powerful, effective, and satisfying transformation techniques and approaches in the known universe–but also to help keep you motivated to take action and actually DO the exercises, experiments, and adventures on a daily basis–so you can start living a more flowing and enjoyable life…right fucking now.
I want this to be so beneficial to you that it even helps you start living a better and more fulfilling life yesterday.
Yes, you read that correctly. I said I want to make your life better yesterday, as well as today and tomorrow. How the hell can I do that, you ask?
By getting you to shrug all the shit off your shoulders that really doesn’t matter. Once you do that, even the most difficult and painful of your memories will start to reveal something deeper…something more…something quite beautiful when you learn how to stop interpreting and judging, and instead, start appreciating everything about your life, and what brought you to where you are now–> waking up and taking action to make it even better.
That’s what monkeys, chips, and worlds all have in common: none of them belong on your shoulders!
(Ok, it could be cool to have a monkey on your shoulder, I agree. But don’t let him get on your back, or you’ll have real trouble trying to remove him.)
The point of all this is to get you to realize that when you focus on problems, challenges, obstacles, complaints, and other shit that brings you down, you’re not focusing on appreciating and flowing with what’s actually going on in the life you’re actually experiencing.
Once you get all those imaginary burdens out of your mind, you can start taking action and doing things that bring you tremendous joy and satisfaction. All those things you’ve always wanted to do, but make excuses for why you CAN’T. Start now by replacing all your CANTs with WONTs, and then decide to do what it takes to turn your WONTs into WILL!
Then do it.
Just like today’s exercise. This is one of the first exercises I learned after the face stretching, and I gave it the name Atlas Shrugged, to remind me of the statue of Atlas and how it’s time to let go of the news, the issues, the woes of the world, and to start doing what you can with what you’ve got.
Just pull your shoulders up to your ears as high and as tightly as you can (be careful if you have injuries…NEVER force anything). Hold them up with a lot of tension and pressure for AT LEAST one full minute. Keep breathing the whole time.
Once the minute’s up, inhale fully, pull them up even tighter, and then thrust them down while making a loud “AH” sound and exhaling fully. Then just feel the effects the exercise had on you.
Here’s a look at a brand new video I made for a special new course we’re putting together. I wanted to show it to you first, so let me know what you think. I really value hearing from you, and I write back to everyone.
When I first did Atlas Shrugged, I remember feeling so much relief in my shoulders, and in my mind. At that time, many of my old faithful allegiances to politics, saving the world, social groups, pressure from family and friends, and even my deeply ingrained habits of eating and thinking were starting to crack and crumble away. The shoulder exercise helped me to crawl out from underneath that top-heavy existence I’d caged myself in and start living my own life.
Hopefully you’ll have an easier experience than I did. I still spent a few more years searching to get free of my beliefs and start flowing with my own life.
More on that in the next post, when I explain exactly how I learned to start laughing at everything you’re not supposed to laugh at. (hint: it’s actually possible to enjoy everything, and laugh at it all–it just takes one simple adjustment most people aren’t willing to make. Are you?)
Oh yeah, and I’ll let you know about a live Q and A session on google hangouts to learn more about Undoing, the intensives, and whatever else you want to chat about.
Enjoy…because it’s your life, and it’s the only life you’ve got.
PS: If you actually tried out the exercise, leave a comment right away and let me know how it goes. What other kinds of exercises would you like to see? And keep in mind, the more you repeat these exercises, the deeper and more powerful results you’ll get.
I felt all tingly inside for a few minutes afterward, a little giddy, you know, like when you just can’t keep your lips and cheeks from grinning all over your face?
After that, I didn’t notice too much of a difference, but something had changed…even if just a little.
That tiny experiment would eventually cascade with diligent repetition and thousands more experiments just like it into a radical transformation of the way I saw everything in my life.
It may not have been as monumental as the first time ever having sex, but the first time I ever did the slow face stretching, I knew I’d found something very different from any of the other life change and consciousness exploration approaches I’d been mired in for years.
Those first 5 minutes of stretching my face led all the way to me doing this business and writing you this email right now.
I just finished an hourlong undoing session–conducted by my beautiful partner, who’s getting quite good at it now–and I figured it’s time to get more personal about how all this came to be.
After the first time I stretched my face, I noticed a small time distortion, and the hold my emotions had over me seemed to loosen up…just a little.
Instead of identifying with the sadness, anger, or even happiness, I noticed a strangely deeper level of something creeping into my awareness. Something made itself known underneath all those shifting emotions and changing mental states, I just didn’t know what the hell to call it, yet.
Here’s a vintage video of me demonstrating the face stretching, long before the days of Command Z:
There’s something so utterly simple about listening to and following the wisdom of your own body that you can manage to ignore it for years.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve made the same trade unknowingly–you traded the simple flow of your organic, embodied life for a mind overflowing with stress and complexity.
The other part of that trade that no one ever seems to talk about requires your body to bear the burden of your mental overwhelm in the form of anxiety, tension, and rigidity. Look around, you can find the rigidity everywhere…
Listen to it in the voice of the cashier at the gas station.
See it in the shoulders of the waiter bringing your food.
Taste it in the chemicals designed to make you eat fifty more chips long after you stopped feeling hungry.
Smell it in the deodorant hiding your animal nature.
Feel it in your own tensed muscles.
I’m here for one reason: to tell you you’re beautiful exactly as you find yourself right now. 100% self acceptance is a prerequisite to this whole undoing journey, so I want to inspire that in your from the start, and all along the way.
This is your wake up call to go deeper into your life, and start enjoying a hell of a lot more of it…exactly as you experience it now, and even more as you go deeper.
You can start today by setting a timer–right now–for 5 minutes. Then just stretch and move every part of your face SLOWLY. Your eyes in different directions, nostrils, cheeks, forehead, brows, lips, tongue, and jaw. Breathing deeply while you keep stretching and moving your face–SLOWLY.
After the 5 minutes, just close your eyes and feel what you can feel in your face.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the emergency going on in your neck and shoulders, and how to get the weight of the world off your back.
The only trick here is actually doing the exercises. That’s what you’re here for, so like Tim Leary used to say: Take a chance and break your trance. This is your life. This is your consciousness. So claim it and enjoy!
Soon, I’ll tell you about another first time…before which, I had no idea that I even had a body. Yeah, it’s that weird…but true.
Leave a comment or email me and let me know how it felt when YOU did the exercise. I love hearing from you.
PS: The next round of Radical Undoing intensives starts on May 3…and I’ll be doing a free, live Q and A on google hangouts very soon, so stay tuned!